We don't often talk about Garmin here, mostly because the company hasn't been a smartwatch or wearable maker in the traditional sense, but it's getting harder and harder to mention any fitness tracker without naming Garmin in some form or another. Its vivosmart lineup, among others, is almost universally loved by everyone who has tried it, its brand is recognizable, hardware is capable and competitively priced, and software experience is getting better and better, making it the second largest smartwatch maker in Q3 2016 according to IDC.

One of the flagships of Garmin's smartwatch line-up is the fēnix series, a watch that combines everyday activity and sleep tracking, smartwatch notifications and features, super detailed exercise tracking across different types of sports (running, swimming, cycling, hiking, golf, ski, snowboard, paddle sports, and so on), GPS logging, water resistance up to 100m, continuous heart-rate monitoring, and more. The problem of the fēnix series though so far has been its very rugged industrial design and large profile that doesn't easily fit most wrists. Enter the new fēnix 5 series of watches with three models: the 42mm fēnix 5S, the 47mm fēnix 5, and the 51mm fēnix 5X (which also comes preloaded with TOPO US maps).

fēnix 5 color and band variants

Both the smaller 5S and the regular 5 are smaller than the older fēnix 3HR, and all three models have easily removable and changeable bands (though the design is proprietary to Garmin), battery life that goes from 8 to 14 days (less if GPS is being actively used), and are compatible with the Garmin Connect app for tracking and setting and the Garmin Face-It app for customizable watch faces. They can sync with your phone over Bluetooth Low Energy, but there are Sapphire versions with WiFi that can directly connect to your router.

fēnix 5S color and band variants

Prices are on the high side, as is the case with the fēnix line. All watches will be available in Q1 2017, with the fēnix 5 and fēnix 5S costing $599.99; then the fēnix 5 Sapphire, fēnix 5S Sapphire and fēnix 5X going up to $699.99.

fēnix 5X (left) and 5 (right)

And along with the fēnix 5 series, Garmin is also announcing new partnerships in its Connect IQ store, which houses all the apps and widgets you can install on Garmin's watches. These include Uber ETA for quickly seeing when your driver is arriving, nuun Active Hydration for monitoring water intake, and the recently released Stryd IQ, Strava Live Suffer Score, and AccuWeather Edge MinuteCast.

Garmin Connect™ Mobile
Garmin Connect™ Mobile
Developer: Garmin
Price: Free

Garmin Face It™
Garmin Face It™
Developer: Garmin
Price: Free